FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Pelegrin Vargas did a little bit of everything in No. 13 Purdue Fort Wayne's 3-1 (25-21, 18-25, 25-20, 25-23) win over Penn State. Vargas had 19 kills (.357 hitting), seven digs, four blocks, three assists and two aces on Friday (March 15) on Arnie Ball Court.
Michael Keegan had 38 assists to move his career total to 3,198. He passed Phil Bodine, who had 3,188 from 1985-88, to move into fourth in program history.
The Mastodons started hot, hitting .364 and never trailing in the opening set. The 'Dons jumped out to a 13-7 lead on the Nittany Lions before forcing a timeout. PSU closed the gap, tying it up at 21 apiece, but Vargas had three of his four first-set kills in the 4-0 run that closed the set. Colton Stone and Richie Diedrich combined for a block on the penultimate point.
Penn State held control of the majority of the second set, leading by as many as seven at 23-16. The Nittany Lions held the 'Dons to .000 hitting for the frame.
Vargas came alive in the third and fourth sets, notching six kills in both. He also had two aces in a 4-0 run that put Purdue Fort Wayne up 17-11 in the third. The fourth was as back and forth as the match got, with 13 tie scores and four lead changes. After a 23-all stymie, Diedrich and Vargas had back-to-back kills to finish the night. Diedrich tied his season-high with nine kills on 15 swings for a .467 clip.
Stone and Kolbie Knorr led the defensive efforts, racking up eight and six digs respectively. Vargas, Diedrich and Tomas Gago each had four blocks.
This is the Mastodons' first win over Penn State since 2015. It is also the 27th straight win for the 'Dons over teams outside of the AVCA Top 15 Coaches Poll.
Purdue Fort Wayne improves to 12-7, while Penn State falls to 8-11. The Mastodons are back in action on Saturday (March 16) when they welcome the Saint Francis Red Flash to Arnie Ball Court.